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New study reveals risks of transgender ‘conversion therapy’

A large, first-of-its-kind study has found that transgender people who reported receiving so-called conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide during their lifetime than their peers who had engaged in other types of therapy, NBC News reports. And for those who were younger than age 10 when they underwent attempts by practitioners to align their gender identity with their sex assigned at birth, the relative risk of attempted suicide was more than four times as great. The study, based on a 2015 survey of nearly 28,000 transgender people, also found that conversion therapy survivors were 1.5 times more likely than peers who underwent other kinds of therapy to have experienced “severe psychological distress” in the month before the survey, researchers reported yesterday in JAMA Psychiatry. Another important finding: There was no significant difference in risk for people who reported receiving conversion therapy from religious advisers versus secular therapists.

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